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Itinerary: Super Bowl

January 25, 2001|ROBIN RAUZI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Somewhere between 40% and 50% of TVs in America will be tuned in to the Super Bowl on Sunday. That means that movie you've been wanting to see likely won't be sold out. It'll probably be easy to find a parking place at the Century City Shopping Center. Heck, maybe you can get a last-minute dinner reservation at Spago. But I wouldn't bet on that last one.

But if nothing else in greater Los Angeles area seems more entertaining than watching the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Giants tackle one another for three hours, embrace the Super Bowl. In fact, make a whole weekend of it.

Thursday

Relive former Super Bowls--at least, the parts between the football plays.

"Super Bowl: Super Showcase for Commercials" is an annual event at the Museum of Television and Radio (465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills. [310] 786-1000), updated each year to add the best from last year's big game. New to the screenings this year: lots of dot-com ads, some for companies that aren't around any more. And it's no wonder--last year it cost $2.2 million to buy a 30-second spot. You can also watch the evolution of the cola and beer wars. Ads by well-known filmmakers, including Ridley Scott's "1984" commercial for the first Macintosh computer, are also part of the mix. The screening package of more than 50 ads is narrated by Frank Gifford, a sportscaster and former Giants running back. It screens Wednesday-Sunday at 1 p.m. through Feb. 11 or can be viewed at other times at a museum console.

Friday

Any New Yorker will gripe that no deli in L.A. measures up. But you can come close in name--if not in spirit--with the Stage Deli (10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Century City. [310] 553-3354). The L.A. counterpart of the 7th Avenue mainstay serves up the same Jewish comfort food. Pick up some double-decker sandwiches for the big game and maybe have an egg cream.

Saturday

Dedicate Saturday evening to the Baltimore Ravens, the franchise that moved to Maryland in 1995 from Cleveland. Dinner at the Beverly Hills restaurant Reign might do just the trick. It's owned by an NFL player--Tampa Bay wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, for one thing. (The Buccaneers made it to the playoffs.) For another, Maryland Crab Cakes are featured on the menu of contemporary Southern specialties. Leave your Ravens football jersey at home, though. The strict dress code bans jeans, sneakers, hats and athletic gear at Reign (180 N. Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills. [310] 273-4463).

Sunday

There are lots of sports bars, but does everyone know your name? The bar from the set of the TV show "Cheers," now enshrined at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum (7021 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. [323] 960-4833) is the venue for a Super Bowl party at 2 p.m. The $25 tickets include one drink, hot dogs and snacks and a pregame tour (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) of the museum. Wanna compete? There's a chili cook-off too. Reservations required.

The new ESPN Zone (1545 Disneyland Drive, Downtown Disney, Anaheim. [714] 300-ESPN) is another spot for competitive viewers. The sports bar-restaurant starts selling $15 reserved-seating tickets (maximum two per person) at 8 a.m. Friday for its Super Bowl party. Sunday, the doors open at 1:30 p.m.; but for the playoffs, people lined up at 6 a.m. to get in. Oh, and once you're in, there's a $20 minimum. What's worth the hefty price tag? How about 170 TVs, including 12 in the bathrooms, and one measuring 13 by 16 feet.

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